PSNI officer jailed for attempted sex offences with children as young as 12

Undercover police officers acting as children aged 12 to 14 caught Christopher Little in sting operation

A former PSNI officer was jailed on Thursday for a year for a series of sexual offences involving underage girls while on duty at police headquarters in Belfast. Christopher Little (39), of Cove Avenue in Groomsport, Co Down, pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted sexual communication with a child and three offences of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a sex act.

He further admitted single charges of attempting to cause or incite a child to commit a sex act and possessing an indecent photo of a child. The offences were committed between May 6th, 2020 and February 3rd, 2022.

Prosecution barrister Natalie Pinkerton told Belfast Crown Court that in the summer of 2021 the PSNI was contacted by the North West of England Regional Organised Crime Unit. It said that undercover police officers acting as children aged 12 to 14 had engaged online with an individual based in Northern Ireland and the conversations were sexual in nature.

During one conversation with a girl called Izzy, Little told her that he was 27 and from Manchester and “always had young girlfriends”.


The former PSNI officer asked her for a picture, telling her he would share one. On receipt of a picture, he told the girl she looked “hot”. He sent her a photograph of a male from the neck down standing in a bathroom, saying he was in work. The court heard the photograph was take in PSNI HQ.

Little also talked to Izzy about “meeting up”, saying he lived 30 minutes from her. He also contacted 13-year-old Millie and asked for a photograph.

Millie responded: “You first.’’ The defendant replied: “Awh, please u first. I’m older. I have more to loose (sic) please”.

On September 6th, 2021, Little’s home was searched and a number of items were seized, including his mobile. He was arrested but refused to answer police questions.

Ms Pinkerton said: “The PSNI were informed by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) that Mr Little was currently under investigation and had a mobile device seized as part of their investigation in May 2020. This was passed to the investigating team for examination.

“Therefore whilst being interviewed by PONI between August 2020 and July 2021, the defendant was continuing to message who he believed were young and vulnerable girls.”

She said that being interviewed and questioned did not deter him or stop him from offending.

The court heard that on January 10th, 2022, the PSNI questioned Little again and he was charged with a number of offences and bailed. Ms Pinkerton said that on February 1st, 2022, Little messaged 13-year-old Zoe but she refused to send him a picture.

A large number of non-indecent images of young girls were found on his mobile along with his web browsing history. The prosecution said this showed a deep seated sexual interest in young girls.

“He was a serving police officer, on duty at the time of these sexual communications and involved in taking pictures of himself while in police headquarters,” the court heard.

Defence barrister Sean Mullan said Little had had a “spectacular fall from grace” and lost his PSNI job. His wife had left him and taken their four children to England.

“There is no doubt there has been improper, twisted thinking by Mr Little and that warped view is seen throughout these messages,” he said.

Jailing Little for 12 months, Judge Mark Reel told him he would spend a further two years on supervised licence after his release. The judge added: “The aggravating factors are that you were a serving member of the PSNI and engaged in this activity while on duty.”

“This offence represents a serious assault on public confidence in the police,” the Judge said. “The fact that these offences were carried out while already under investigation by the (Police) Ombudsman aggravates the degree by which this offending affects public confidence in the police.

“This also demonstrates the disregard by the defendant of his position. The final set of offences were committed after interview and while on post charge bail.”

Little was made the subject of a ten-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and was placed indefinitely on the sex offenders register.